In late October, I happened upon an August announcement of a quilt challenge, the Quilt the Blues Challenge, which required the purchase of a bundle of fabrics. Since retiring at the end of June, and then traveling to Scotland in July, Hartford in August, White Plains in September and Princeton and Sarasota in October, I decided that a quilt challenge would be a good project for November!
The packet of blue fabrics arrived while I was in Florida, and I had to quickly come up with a plan in order to finish by the December 1 deadline. I wasn't really fond of many of the fabrics - too grey, too ditzy, or too old fashioned floral-ly. I used my camera settings to try to better guage the fabric values.
I don't have a computer design program, so I use graph paper and colored pencils to design. I used my hand drawn pattern to calculate how many squares of each type I needed (and ended up making some adjustments at the end!) I cut 2 1/2 inch strips to begin. I used Kona white as the first of the allowed accent colors.
|Chester the Cat, assisting|
I doing my checking, I discovered that I had sewn a few of the greyish strips with the back side showing. I was able to take out those pieces, and turn them around.
I made the ribbon ends from the remaining pieces, and the length was determined by how much fabric I had left!
It was very difficult to see the pattern when I was putting the blocks on the design wall, but from a distance, I thought I achieved the bold graphic look I was aiming for.
I quilted the top on my Tiara II, using a free form line with occasional bubbles following the "grain" of the "ribbon". I used a blue variegated Aurifil for the quilting on the "ribbon" portion. I used a meandering stitch with bubbles for the white portions of the quilt, using a white Aurifil thread on the top. I found quilting lengthy lines pretty challenging on the Tiara II. More practice is needed!
I had some yardage of a nice golden umbrella print to use for the back, and used a gold Aurifil thread in the bobbin so the stitching would blend in. I used a Kona Curry solid for the binding.
I got the quilt done and submitted in time, and got the acknowledgement that the submission had gone through. I never heard anything more, and since finalists were going to be notified in mid-December, I guess I didn't make the cut. Oh well - while some type of feedback would have been nice, I got a nice quilt out of it and a pattern I can fiddle around with! The final quilt top finished at 60 1/2 x 72 1/2, but after quilting and washing, the final dimensions were 57 1/2 by 68 1/2.
2016 has been quite a year. I am in the process of making a list of quilt goals for 2017, which will include some quilts for new babies expected in my extended family, and a good clean out of my burgeoning fabric stash. I intend to update this blog more regularly! May 2017 bring good quilts, and peace to all!
Happy New Year!